Image taken at the Northern Plains Botanic Garden at Yunker Farm, Fargo. Brandi Malarkey, artist. ItsAllMalarkey.com

Bee-wildering

So apparently my ignorance is astounding. Not that we weren’t already clear, and on the subject of photography, completely justified.

I have been playing with my brand new camera lens, which is like learning a totally different language again. I am pretty sure it has turned my ten year plan for being a photographer into a fifteen year plan all on its own. However, I have been plagued with mishap after mishap and was beginning to think that I wouldn’t have any pictures to show for this summer that weren’t complete blurs.  In addition to grappling with a huge learning curve, I lost May and June to the election, and then most of my July attempts were lost when my brand new camera card decided to corrupt the files for nearly everything I took during the month.

I was less than pleased.

However, I have managed to recover a bit, the camera card seems to be behaving itself after reformatting (*crosses fingers for luck*), and I have been slowly getting the hang of my quirky new lens–enough that I am starting to play with the light a bit and half believe I might be doing things on purpose.

Bees are always good subjects. They aren’t necessarily cooperative, but there are so MANY of them that you can’t help but get something. Since bees then become a recurring theme I purchased the book The Bees in Your Backyard in an attempt to actually learn something about them. After failing to identify my bees, I turned to an entomologist friend begging for help. Only to discover that the reason I couldn’t identify them is that they are not bees!

Image taken at the Northern Plains Botanical Garden at Yunker Farm, Fargo. Brandi Malarkey, artist. ItsAllMalarkey.com

Image taken at the Northern Plains Botanic Garden at Yunker Farm, Fargo

Image taken at the Northern Plains Botanical Garden at Yunker Farm, Fargo. Brandi Malarkey, artist. ItsAllMalarkey.com

Image taken at the Northern Plains Botanic Garden at Yunker Farm, Fargo

Image taken at the Northern Plains Botanical Garden at Yunker Farm, Fargo. Brandi Malarkey, artist. ItsAllMalarkey.com

Image taken at the Northern Plains Botanic Garden at Yunker Farm, Fargo

Clearly it is time to actually read my book, and not just look at the pictures.

These pretty little bugs are apparently Hover Flies. Which, I am all fine with liking flies, but how sad is it that the nature artist can’t tell a bee from a fly?

So. Apparently flies have bigger eyes, bees have hair, and bees have four wings while flies only have two. In my defense bees often look like they only have two. Just saying. It’s not like the hold still long enough for you to count them. *cough* *cough*

Anyway. If you ignore the fact that I need a remedial identification class and haven’t the slightest idea what I am doing, aren’t the photos pretty? I am playing with light, and I am loving the “painterly” effect you can get.

I love how the light makes things glow.

Image taken at the Northern Plains Botanical Garden at Yunker Farm, Fargo. Brandi Malarkey, artist. ItsAllMalarkey.com

Image taken at the Northern Plains Botanical Garden at Yunker Farm, Fargo

However, to prove that while I may not know a bee is really a fly, but I do usually know when a bee is a bee, here are two of what I think might be a collete or plasterer bee. At least, that is what I have decided based on the book. I wouldn’t take it as a given until the entomologists get back to me.

Image taken at the Northern Plains Botanical Garden at Yunker Farm, Fargo. Brandi Malarkey, artist. ItsAllMalarkey.com

Image taken at the Northern Plains Botanic Garden at Yunker Farm, Fargo

Image taken at the Northern Plains Botanical Garden at Yunker Farm, Fargo. Brandi Malarkey, artist. ItsAllMalarkey.com

Image taken at the Northern Plains Botanic Garden at Yunker Farm, Fargo

So, playing with light and macro, I am aware this isn’t the best photo in the world. However, it is my current favorite. Something about this single raindrop makes me unbelievably happy–enough that I am considering using it on all my New Year’s cards despite all it’s flaws.

Image taken at the Northern Plains Botanical Garden at Yunker Farm, Fargo. Brandi Malarkey, artist. ItsAllMalarkey.com

Image taken at the Northern Plains Botanic Garden at Yunker Farm, Fargo

There you have it. The entirety of photos taken in 2018 thus far that I am willing to claim.

🙂

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